California Secures Federal Financial Aid to Assist Firefighting Efforts in Riverside County

175SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 2013) – As high temperatures continue to broil most of the state, firefighters throughout California continue to work hard to bring the Riverside County wildfire under control. Today, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. secured federal financial assistance to help ensure the availability of vital resources to extinguish the Summit Fire burning in Riverside County.

California received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a special Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG), which provides funds to reimburse eligible firefighting expenses.

“Resources can get strained during this time of year, so these funds are critical for providing our local and state firefighters with the tools they need to fight this fire,” said Cal EMA Secretary Mark Ghilarducci. “We are doing everything we can to assist the fire-affected areas and the firefighters who are bravely fighting this fire. We are thankful for the support from our federal partners and glad that they understand the magnitude of the Summit Fire.”

This specific funding provided by FEMA allows a 75 percent federal cost-share reimbursement, through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund, to California for eligible costs incurred in firefighting activities. The other 25 percent of firefighting costs is left to the local jurisdiction.

The FMAG is available to state, local and tribal governments. The reimbursed costs must be the result of fire disaster declared by the Governor and performed within the designated fire area using resources requested by incident commanders. Reimbursements can include supplies, labor, travel, repairs, administrative costs and mobilizations/demobilizations.

The Summit Fire has so far burned over 2,956 acres and is 40 percent contained. The fire threatened 450 residences resulting in mandatory evacuations for the affected area. Residents have since been allowed to return.

Joining the hundreds of local government and federal firefighting personnel already battling fires throughout the state, the California Emergency Management Agency has currently deployed mutual aid resources as follows:

Cal EMA Strike Teams: 2
Local Government Strike Teams/Task Forces: 8
Total Engines: 74
Total Firefighters: 671

 
Cal EMA is responsible for the coordination of overall state agency response to major disasters in support of local government. The agency is responsible for assuring the state’s readiness to respond to and recover from all hazards – natural, manmade, war-caused emergencies and disasters – and for assisting local governments in their emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and hazard mitigation efforts. Visit us online at www.calema.ca.gov or @calema on Twitter and get the latest news at www.calemanews.wordpress.com. For more information about FMAG: http://bit.ly/10v6hjJ

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